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Green Cart Caution: Why Baby’s Breath Doesn't Belong

Common baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculate), also known as maiden’s breath, is a plant frequently used as a filler flower in floral arrangements. The small, delicate white flowers are commonly found along roses in Valentine’s bouquets. Although this plant looks harmless, it is an invasive species and is provincially regulated in Alberta as a noxious weed. Baby’s breath, along with other noxious weeds, are not accepted in the City of Lethbridge’s organics program.

Baby’s breath has a long root system that can reach as much as four metres in depth. The plant is drought resistant and can access water much deeper than most native plants, taking away moisture from our local flora. Its long roots also make this plant difficult to remove once it is established. One plant can produce thousands of seeds that can survive through the composting process.

Please do not throw baby’s breath in your green cart. Remove the baby’s breath from the bouquet, place it in a sealed garbage bag, and dispose of it in your black cart.

More information about baby’s breath is available on the Alberta Invasive Species Council’s website. For a full list of provincially regulated weeds, visit

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